GuidesWikiHow Often Should I Clean My PC?

How Often Should I Clean My PC? [Full Guide]

Your PC can face overheating issues if you do not clean it often, which may reduce the components' lifespan.

Expert Verified By

It is common to have dust cover up the insides of a computer case. What’s important is knowing how often to clean your PC to keep up the optimal performance of your system and prevent frustrating issues like lags and slower speeds.

Key Takeaways

  • Your PC can face overheating issues if you do not clean it often, which may reduce the components’ lifespan.
  • Cleaning the PC occasionally can reward you with good performance and riddance from overheating.
  • Air filters, cleaner surroundings, and distance from pets can help keep your PC clean for longer.

In my experience, it’s crucial to clean your PC every 3 to 6 months, although the frequency might vary depending on where you live. If you’re in an area with polluted air, you might notice dust accumulation within just a few days after giving your PC a thorough clean.

Even in cleaner environments with less dust, it’s still important to regularly open up your PC case and inspect the components. Despite the absence of pollution, there can still be unwanted substances that need removal to ensure the safety and longevity of your PC’s components.

How often should i clean my pc?
Dust Build-Up Inside Computer Case (Image By Tech4Gamers)

I mostly use compressed air cans to remove dust from the hard-to-reach areas of my PC and the components. The nozzle is narrow and conveniently blows off layers of dust. However, if you do not have an air can, then you can clean your PC without compressed air.[1]

Compressed Air Can
Compressed Air Can (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Importance Of Cleaning A PC Often

Not cleaning your PC causes dust and debris to build up, ultimately affecting its overall condition.[2] Not only does it harm your components physically, but it also can snatch their ability to perform the assigned tasks.

These are all the problems you may encounter for not cleaning the PC timely:

  • Slower Performance: Resource-intensive tasks become sluggish, such as gaming, high-resolution movie streaming, or loading multiple tabs simultaneously.[3] 
  • Overheating: Dust accumulation in PC components hampers fan ventilation and disrupts heat dissipation, forcing components to work harder to maintain performance and temperature.[3]
  • Polluted Surroundings: As your PC heats up, the fans work harder to bring in cool air, attracting surrounding dust earlier than usual. 
  • Reduced Lifespan: With problems like overheating and dust build-up, the original lifespan of the PC and its components may be reduced.

Which Components Of The PC Should Be Cleaned Often?

Here is a list of essential components I clean every once in a while to prevent unwanted PC troubles. To make things easier for you, I will briefly explain the cleaning technique for each.

  • Monitor: Use an air compressor can or alternatives to clear dust from the monitor’s input ports. After clearing the dust, I wipe the monitor with a damp cloth to eliminate any stubborn mess.
  • Fans: Fans hold much dust as they are the ones that do all the air work in the first place. Therefore, you need to clean PC fans to allow smooth functioning. I use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol for tough dust. A damp cloth will also work fine. Once the fans are clean, you may attach them back into their respectful place.
WARNING: Be extra careful with the fan blades as they are prone to damage.
  • Motherboard: After you have opened the computer case, unscrew the motherboard and detach the heatsink. Clean the motherboard carefully to remove any accumulated dust. After cleaning, I applied a new thermal paste on the heatsink before re-attaching it to the motherboard so it stuck firmly. However, make sure to clean the old thermal paste completely before putting on a new batch after 2 to 3 years.[4]
A clean Motherboard
A Clean Motherboard (Image By Tech4Gamers)
WARNING: The slightest wrong contact can damage the pins.
  • Graphics Card: To clean the graphics card, again, use a compressed air can. Carefully make sure to blow off any dust that is covering the GPU slots and its heatsink.
  • PSU: I recommend cleaning the PSU using an air compressor. Set the correct pressure and keep it at a distance of at least 2 inches. Blow the air into the holes already present on the PSU’s sides and through the fan. Ensure to keep blowing the dust off until none comes out of the PSU. However, high-quality power supplies generally last five to ten years.[5]
Dusty PSU
Dusty PSU (Image By Tech4Gamers)

How Do I Protect My PC From Catching Dust Soon?

Here are some tips you can keep in mind so that your PC does not catch dust sooner than it should:

  • Keep it out of pets’ reach, as their furs can likely block the fans from spinning if it gets between them.
  • Use an air filter to prevent dust and debris from entering your computer case regularly. [6] 
  • Keep your PC in a closed room, preferably with an AC; this will help your PC not get covered up in dust and not heat up quickly.
  • Maintain clean surroundings of your PC.

As someone who cares about their PC, I always ensure it is free of any impurities. Additionally, while cleaning the PC, I was careful not to damage any sensitive areas. If you give your PC the care it needs, only then will it be able to provide you with a good performance. The lack of care can turn into quickly become a big expense. 

Helpful Resources By Tech4Gamers

References

  1. Tech4Gamers. How To Clean Your PC Without Compressed Air. Retrieved from https://tech4gamers.com/how-to-clean-your-pc-without-compressed-air/
  2. Academia.edu. Maintenance Of Computers. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/4768558/Maintenance_of_Computer
  3. Hunter Business School. Why Conduct Routine Maintenance On Computers? Retrieved from https://hunterbusinessschool.edu/the-importance-of-regular-maintenance-on-your-computer/
  4. Tech4Gamers. How Long Does Thermal Paste Last? Retrieved from https://tech4gamers.com/how-long-does-thermal-paste-last/
  5. Tech4Gamers. How Long Do Power Supplies Last? Retrieved from https://tech4gamers.com/how-long-do-power-supplies-last/
  6. deu.edu.tr. Protecting Computer Hardware. Retrieved from http://web.deu.edu.tr/doc/oreily/networking/puis/ch12_02.htm

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Alternative To An Air Compressor For Cleaning A PC?

You can use a microfiber cloth and even a soft toothbrush or paintbrush to clean the dust off the components of your PC.

Why Are Fans So Noisy When There Is Dust Build-Up?

The reason behind fans being noisy is that they have to put in extra effort to maintain the temperature inside the computer case as it becomes too high when all the components start to overheat.

Why Is The Dust So Sticky On The PC Components?

The reason why the dust is so sticky and stubborn is due to moisture and emissions from vehicles that are present in the air. It causes the components to look like they are greasy.

Was our article helpful? 👨‍💻

Thank you! Please share your positive feedback. 🔋

How could we improve this post? Please Help us. 😔

Related articles

Is Higher RAM Speed Always Better For Gaming? Here’s What I Think

Do you actually need a RAM as fast as 8000 MHz in 2024? Here is whether you should upgrade to a faster RAM for gaming.

Wear Leveling: Explanation & Types

The wear-levelling technique, as apparent by name, evenly distributes the data across all the memory cells of NAND flash memory so that no single cell wears out faster than others.

TLC (Triple-Level Cell): A Breakdown

TLC or Triple-Level Cell is a type of NAND flash memory used in various storage devices like SSDs and stores up to three bits of data per cell.

MLC (Multi-Level Cell): All You Need To Know

MLC or Multi-Level Cell is a type of NAND flash memory that can store two bits of data per cell and is utilized in various electronic devices.

IOPS: Guide To SSD Performance

IOPS is a metric that measures how quickly a storage device can perform read and write operations per second.

Similar Guides